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Hitting the road for a Memorial Day road trip? Don't forget your credit card

By , CardRatings contributor
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After a long, cold and stormy winter, most Americans are planning to hit the road for some summer travel adventures. Make the most of your credit card benefits this Memorial Day weekend and whenever you are on the road this summer.

Earn rewards

Got a gas credit card? Take it with you. You'll save money at the pump and earn some nifty cash-back rewards. The longer your road trip, the more you'll be spending on gas so you might as well be rewarded for all your time out on the road this summer.

Get roadside assistance

Nobody wants to think of a breakdown or a flat tire on the road but they happen. Many of the best credit cards offer free roadside assistance. So your summer travel plans won't have to be interrupted for too long with an assist from your credit card issuer. Review the travel benefits of each of your credit cards before you hit the road, and be sure to pack the card that will help you out for free if you get in a jam out on the road.

Get covered at the rental car counter

Worried about physical damage or theft to a rental car or van during a long family road trip? Your credit card may have you covered. Many issuers offer their own auto rental insurance so you can turn down the expensive collision loss/damage waiver being offered by the rental car company. Check out the auto rental insurance coverage of each of your credit cards and choose the card with the most generous auto insurance protection and use it to reserve and pay for your rental car.

Share your travel plans with your card issuers

Don't forget to call your card issuers before you leave. Let them know your travel dates and destinations so they will know that's really you taking in the sights of a faraway city or soaking in the sun on a distant shore. Otherwise, your vacation may be interrupted by a phone call from the fraud department from your bank. And some issuers may even shut off your card if they suspect fraudulent activity.

Cash in on quarterly rewards categories

Planning a road trip later this summer? Be sure to sign up for 5 percent quarterly rewards on cash-back rewards cards before you hit the road.

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